Scottish Power is one of the UK’s Big Six energy suppliers. While they have lost some customers to newer suppliers, they still serve around 4.78 million customers and reported a revenue of £5,239.1 million in 2017. They’re the largest generator of wind energy in the UK energy market, and have stated they plan to invest even more capital in renewables going forward. Scottish Power are known for having cheaper tariffs than the other Big Six suppliers, but suffer from poorly reviewed customer service.
Big Six suppliers generally have customer review averages that are much lower than those of their smaller competitors. Even so, Scottish Power has taken things to the next level. Their customer reviews are astoundingly negative. On Trustpilot, they have a one-star average and a whopping 95% bad reviews, which means nearly every review is the lowest rating possible.
Reviews frequently mention unexplained and unexpected electricity bill increases and a lack of clarity on how to resolve these billing issues. Other frequent themes are long waiting times with customer service representatives and a large, inefficient and confusing process for resolving complaints.
As you can see on our Scottish Power contact page, there are quite a few different contact and complaint webpages and phone numbers, and it can be difficult to know exactly who to contact for which issue. This undoubtedly contributes to their customers’ woes.
In fact, Scottish Power has suffered so many complaints that Ofgem announced in September 2018 that they would open an investigation into the company's customer service response practices. This is obviously a huge red flag to current and potential customers.
Before you completely write off Scottish Power’s customer service, Which? interestingly enough gave Scottish Power high marks when it comes to complaint response time. The mismatch may be because of the large and confusing structure of their customer service branch. Perhaps they are quick to respond, but only for customers who call the right number.
Our own investigations show very different response rates, it took several days for them to respond to complaint emails. While that is comparable to other Big Six’s response times, that is hardly a positive statement.
Even with higher marks on their response time, the overall view of SP from Which? is far from glowing. In their 2018 survey, the energy firm ranked as one of the worst suppliers around at 28th out of 30. These poor rankings are consistent with our own research here at Selectra. And this is not a recent development, as SP has ranked as one of the UK’s worst performing suppliers for years!
Scottish Power's (very) few positive reviews mention helpful and polite interactions with their customer service representatives. However, looking at the numbers we can state unequivocally that decent customer service is the exception, not the rule.
Tariffs and Prices
Scottish Power has historically been seen as the cheapest option among the Big Six energy suppliers. But how do they stack up to the competition today, with a larger number of independent competitors who can offer customers lower gas and electricity prices?
That depends on which of their tariff options you are considering. Like other large suppliers, SP offers a wide variety of tariffs for gas and electricity. Because of this, the best way to be sure you’re getting the best deal is to use our handy comparison tool or just give us a call.
Although they have plenty of tariff options, SP promotes a few of their more popular tariffs more heavily. The main Scottish Power tariffs are their Standard variable tariff and their Online Fixed Saver tariff. Even with the large number of tariffs, we can still make some general observations by looking at Scottish Power’s tariff information label. The below table is based on their Standard (variable) tariff.
|Region||Electricity unit rate||Yearly cost of electricity||Standing charge||Electricity TCR||Gas unit rate||Yearly cost of gas||Standing charge||Gas TCR|
|North East EN||16.125p||£499.88||23.63p||18.91p||3.623p||£452.88||25.82p||17.65p|
|North West EN||16.462p||£510.32||21.40p||18.98p||3.719p||£464.88||25.82p||18.04p|
|Merseyside & N Wales||17.313p||£536.70||21.81p||19.88p||3.734p||£466.75||25.82p||18.10p|
|South East EN||16.759p||£519.53||22.60p||19.42p||3.856p||£482.00||25.82p||18.59p|
|South West EN||17.094p||£529.91||23.48p||19.86p||3.863p||£482.88||25.82p||18.62p|
Looking at their standard tariff, we can see that prices aren’t very competitive. In fact, they are actually higher than the average price among Big Six suppliers. The average 3 bed flat in London could save more than £240 per year by switching away from Scottish Power!
Scottish Power announced in February that beginning in April of 2019 their standard tariff prices will increase even further! This corresponds to Ofgem raising the UK price ceiling by £107 per year.
The cheapest electricity/gas option quoted on the SP website, the 1 Year Fixed Energy tariff, does provide a better energy deal but still isn’t the cheapest on the market. The average 3 bedroom flat in London would pay an average of £1,197 per year, meaning that the cheapest option on the market would save customers about £100 per year.
You can read even more about SP's prices and even see a breakdown by region on our Scottish Power price page by clicking the link below.
Scottish Power Login
If you are a new or existing Scottish Power customer, you can login to your online account by clicking the button below. You do, however, need to have an account set up already to do this. If you have not yet signed up for a Scottish Power account, you can simply click 'Register now' on the sign in screen. Once you are logged in, you will be able to manage a whole host of things that you would have otherwise had to call up for. These include:
- See usage history
- See historic bills
- Pay bills
- Submit meter readings
- Update personal information
If you have forgotten any part of your login credentials, you can simply reset them by clicking on 'Forgotten password?' on the login screen. Accessing your online account is straightforward with Scottish Power.
Warm Home Discount
Scottish Power does offer the Warm Home Discount! If you’ve never heard of the Warm Home Discount, it’s a discount scheme that takes money off of your energy costs during the colder months, when energy use typically rises. It was designed to help fight fuel poverty and is usually given to pensioners. The 2018/2019 discount was in the amount of £140.
Could you be eligible? The Warm Home Discount is available to customers who satisfy the following three conditions:
- Your electricity provider offers the discount
- You or your partner are the official bill payer
- You receive Guaranteed Pension Credit (still the case even if you also receive savings credit)
If you don’t, you may still be eligible if you’re on a low income or you get certain means-tested benefits. You should apply directly to your energy supplier if you’re interested in getting the discount. Apply early as some suppliers have very narrow application periods that end as early as August.
Keep in mind that the Warm Home Discount is usually not available through smaller suppliers who generally have lower tariff prices, so even with the discount you may still end up paying more. You can find all the info on our Warm Home Discount guide.
Receiving the Warm Home Discount does not disqualify households from the Cold Weather Payment or Winter Fuel Payment, meaning it’s possible to benefit from all three. You can get even more information on Scottish Power's participation in the Warm Home Discount programme via the link below.
Scottish Power’s fuel mix is exceptionally straightforward; their electricity is 100% produced from wind farms, meaning that SP electricity tariffs are from 100% renewable energy. This is a recent development. In October 2018, Scottish Power sold their remaining fossil fuel and hydro power plants to Drax, focusing solely on green energy.
Because all suppliers’ electricity supply comes from the same national grid, Scottish Power customers receive the same electricity as everyone else, coming from a mix of natural gas, renewables, etc. The 100% wind power refers to the fact that for every unit of energy used by their customers, Scottish Power purchases a corresponding unit of wind energy.
Scottish Power is the biggest wind energy producer in the UK and has both onshore and offshore wind farms across the UK and the Republic of Ireland. They’re currently in the process of constructing East Anglia One, an offshore wind farm in the North Sea. Set to open in 2020, it will be the largest wind farm in the world with a capacity of 714 megawatts.
The UK energy industry is currently undertaking a national rollout of smart meters. The government has set a soft target for 2020 to encourage UK residential meter upgrades. This means that they wish to have every single home in the country installed with a new smart meter by this time but at the current rate of conversion, this is looking less and less likely.
Smart meters can be refused by customers; however, we see no broad reason as to why they would aside from some specific cases. You can learn more about smart meters with our handy guide.
Each supplier has their own smart meter design and features. In theory they should be interchangeable, but some customers have reported that their smart meters have been incompatible with new suppliers. If that’s the case, or if your new supplier doesn’t supply smart meters where you live, it will be treated as a standard meter.
If you would like to get ahead of the game and order your free smart meter today, you can click the link below to book your fitting with Scottish Power.
If you don’t have a smart meter, you may be confused about how to submit your meter reading. It’s quick and simple, but if it’s your first time you may be unsure about the process. We’ve made it easy with our step-by-step meter reading guide.
If you don’t submit meter readings, your energy provider will use estimated bills, which may need payment adjustments in the future. If you don’t use the SP smart phone app, you can login to submit your meter reading using the link below:
Like other energy companies, Scottish Power does offer a smartphone app available for Apple and Android phones. The app allows SP customers to manage their payments, enter electricity and gas meter readings, track energy use, and even change tariffs online!
Additionally, the app has some interesting features for customers who also have smart homes or electric cars, such as monitoring your home and finding the closest charging station for your vehicle.
The app is fairly well reviewed with an average of 3.2 stars on the Google Play store and 4 on the Apple Store. Google reviews have had a stream of 1 star reviews recently, largely due to problems with the latest update, which will probably be resolved with time.
Who Owns Scottish Power?
Founded in 1990, Scottish Power was absorbed in 2006 by the Spanish energy utility company Iberdrola, based out of Bilbao, Spain. Once complete in 2007, the takeover made Iberdrola the third biggest utilities company in all of Europe.
Iberdrola have over 31,300 employees working in dozens of countries and provide energy to about 31.67 million customers. They’ve invested heavily in renewable energy sources and are the global leader in wind energy. They have numerous subsidiaries around the world, with two of the biggest being Scottish Power and Iberdrola USA, formerly known as Avangrid.
Although Scottish Power is owned by Iberdrola, they are still a vertically integrated energy company. That means that each element of the energy supply chain is handled by SP. This is in contrast to some competitors, like British Gas, who only handle supply and leave generation and distribution to their parent companies (in the case of British Gas, Centrica).
If you’re interested in investing in Scottish Power, you’d actually have to buy shares in their parent company, Iberdrola, which trades on the Madrid Stock Exchange (Bolsa de Madrid). Keep in mind that Iberdrola’s share price will be affected not just by the latest goings-on of Scottish Power, but also by updates from all of their subsidiaries and Iberdrola themselves.
Iberdrola shares have been promising over the last few years, with steady increases through 2017, and although they’ve suffered a few dips in 2018, they recovered at the end of the year. They are currently riding a surge in their share prices in 2019, and in March have recently reached a five year high for the company. This is sure to be welcome news to any investors.
Below you can see the general trend for Iberdrola’s stock prices over the last 12 months.
Scottish Power can also provide electricity and gas for your business. They currently offer both fixed and variable tariffs designed for small businesses, with some of their deals allowing you to fix your energy costs for up to 3 years.
Unlike their residential offerings, SP’s business tariff rates are some of the most competitive in the UK market. They offer business energy customers a dedicated Business Energy Team, and if you need it they can give you expert energy advice through their partnership with The Carbon Trust.
When you contact Scottish Power, you’ll need the following information:
- The date you're moving
- Up-to-date meter readings
- Address of former home
- Address of new home
- Contact details of landlord if applicable
- Name of new occupier of former address (if known)
Feed-in Tariffs, also known as FiT, are an environmental programme that is designed to promote small-scale renewable energy production in the UK. The scheme provides several financial benefits to houses that produce their own energy and gives their surplus energy back to the grid.
Scottish Power is a Mandatory FiT Licensee, which means they are required to provide FiT tariffs to eligible customers.
Be aware that the FiT programme is no longer accepting new applicants! Get more information on our FiT guide.
There a number of ways through which you could start your career with Scottish Power, whether you want to pursue a technical, engineering or part-time position. Not only that, but Iberdrola as a whole offer career opportunities worldwide, across North and South America, Europe and Asia. You could find yourself working in the following areas:
- Business support
- Marketing and Strategy
- Customer service
- Smart metering
Those are just some of the many areas in which you could work with Scottish Power. If you are interested in finding out more, you can visit the following link to see all available vacancies worldwide.
|The Pros||The Cons|
|100% wind sourced electricity||Very poor customer reviews|
|Some competitive tariff options||Pricier than independent suppliers|
|Warm home discount offered||Convoluted customer service structure|
While Scottish Power does have some strong positive features, they are overshadowed by the negative ones. Their customer service reviews are dreadful, and while smart meters and a smartphone app may be convenient, they’re hardly revolutionary. We love that SP electricity tariffs are sourced from 100% renewable energy, but several of their cheaper competitors do the same, and sport better customer service to boot.
Their cheapest tariff may be more competitive than some other Big Six suppliers’ energy prices, but they’re still not the cheapest one on the market. And their standard variable tariff is one of the UK’s most expensive, and is set to increase even more in April 2019!
The only way Scottish Power may be worth it is if you have one of SP’s cheaper tariffs and simultaneously receive the Warm Home Discount. If that’s the case, Scottish Power may be the cheapest option for your home. Although, with the Warm Home Discount being a set amount, easier and bigger savings may be had by switching to a cheaper provider instead of jumping through hoops and government paperwork!
If figuring out your exact rate sounds confusing, don’t worry. Our comparison tool breaks down all the best tariff options for your home, or you can give us a call and we’ll help you figure out which supplier and tariff is the best for you.